A couple of people have asked me about my play mat, so I thought I would post a mini-tutorial!
1. Decide how big you want your mat. Mine is about 60"X31". Add 2" to the raw edges, before I hemmed the raw edges my mat measured 60"x33".
2. you need to hem the raw edges of you canvas. Press to the wrong side 1/2" and then again. Stitch it down.
3. Now that you know how big your mat is, you need to start the lay out of you "city". I grabbed a toy car and measured it. Doubled it and that determined the width of my roads. I used graph paper and drew a layout to scale, I erased tons and changed things around. I decided that my "city" needed to have: Grammy's house, Grandma's house, airport, gas station, grocery, post office, fire station, police station, church, school, playground, lake, consturction site, playground, and a roundabout!
4. After you have your mini version figured out, cut out to scale the outlines of your buildings and place them on your canvas (tape them if you need to). Using a pencil, ruler, and whatever else you need - sketch your "city" on to the canvas. The reason you use paper outlines of your buildings is to help in the transfer of your design from paper to canvas, and then you can make adjustments if you need to.
5. Now you are ready to paint. Place the mat on either a protected suface or a surface you don't care about. The paint might bleed through!
6. Start painting your creation. I am no artist, all my buildings are plain brick and boring, it was a first try! Be creative, your kids are going to love it no matter what! Add trees, flowers, parking lines, etc...
7. For cleaning up lines I used a sharpie, for fine detail a fine sharpie.
8. When you are satisfied and it is dry take it outside. Spary a coat or two of clear coat to help protect the mat. Let it dry and you are ready to play!
I also used this same method to create a Hopscotch Mat for indoor play!